Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Plenty of talk about this topic, but nevertheless, I wanted to add my two cents and so on... Fast fashion, (click for the wikipedia article) meaning, the big international chain stores selling massive amounts of clothes for budget-friendly prices. No need to name them, we all know them, and we all, or at least the most of us, are guilty of indulging in buying a pair of pants or a shirt simply because it was so cheap.
For someone with a love for clothes and fashion, the phenomenon of getting the latest trends to the stores for a cheap price would seem ideal, except that it's not a) healthy, b) budget-friendly and c) good for the environment.
First, getting everything you want is not healthy. Most of the time you want things for the sake of wanting them. I certainly do. Good thing I have some self-discipline, and when my self-discipline fails, I have D to return me to the reality. If I got everything I wanted, I wouldn't be any happier than I am now. In fact I'd probably be a lot less happier, because I would forget how to appreciate getting something you have wanted for a long time. Thus, fast fashion is bad in the sense of making it possible to grant our every fashion wish when what we really should do is to learn to be happy with what we have.
Secondly, buying a lot of cheap clothes and such is actually more expensive on the long run than saving up for a more expensive piece of clothing. Of course, shopping a lot is never budget-friendly, and shopping in more expensive shops is obviously less budget-friendly than shopping at H&M. Depending on your budget, of course. Another reason why cheap doesn't mean budget-friendly. (like my dad says 'poor people can't afford to buy cheap') In order to get the prices down you have to skimp on the quality. Quality of materials, quality of work. Poor quality doesn't last for long, sending you on another shopping trip. Not that all cheap is automatically poor quality (for example I'm quite happy with H&M for the most part) but generally speaking, if you decide to shop fast fashion, you can't expect quality.
Third, massive amounts of clothes means massive amounts of pressure on the environment. Combined with the poor quality of fast fashion finds, we have created a cycle that needs to be broken and soon.
Being a blogger, and an avid reader of blogs, I subject myself to a lot of consumerism. I see things, I get inspired, and I want to get the same things for myself. Fast fashion seems to be the solution, but in all honesty, it hasn't made me especially content. I keep on craving for more and more. Not sure why and when my eyes were opened, but from now on I will avoid shopping fast fashion. Realistically I won't be able to stop it immediately, and old habits break hard.
But, from this day forward you will see less H&M and Primark finds, and more DIYs and thrift-store finds. Time to slow down and move to more satisfying form of expressing my own personal style. You will hopefully benefit from this in form of tips and inspiration, and if I manage to inspire someone to make the same choice, I'll be more than happy. If not, well, I won't be judging you. It's hard to change, for me this is an ideal moment because my life has been full of big changes so this change in my shopping habits doesn't feel too drastic.
For further reading, as I only scratched the surface on this topic, I have gathered you some links I found interesting. I also just bought the largely spoken-about book 'Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion' by Elizabeth L. Cline, which I will review for you as soon as I receive it anytime in two months.
Ethical Fashion Forum
Ms. Magazine Blog